Forget Resolutions - 10 Winter Cleaning Ideas to Get You Clear, Calm and Focused on What to Do Next

Winter Cleanse
As I’m quite sure I rambled about last year at this time, I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions.
Rather, I think the best use of this “fresh beginning” is to take the opportunity to do some much needed winter cleaning – not only of your physical space (which helps quell the monkey chatter in your mental space), but also of your mental and spiritual space - to get that nasty gunk cleared out, and your clear-headed detoxed self on track to doing passionately fabulous things.
During the year, we’re full speed ahead - bringing life to exciting projects, working on genuine relationships, building brilliant businesses, and other wonderful things that you should be doing to achieve your own personal success, and hopefully, fulfillment.
This is a great time to clean out the lint trap of your mind, run vinegar through the rinse cycle of your soul – leaving you feeling brighter, cleaner and crisper as well. Here are some ideas to get you cleared out, focused on uncovering your passions and ready to CHARGE!
 
1WIPE OUT YOUR “MONKEY MIND” CHATTER
In referring to the irrefutable law that no two physical objects can occupy the same space at the same time, Famoosh Brocka of Prolifc Living writes in a squeaky clean, and simply beautiful guest post on the blog Becoming Minimalist (highly recommend both by the way):

“You see, I was committing to the positive thoughts as much as I was holding on to the negative ones. I was thinking “I am powerful beyond measure. I can run a successful business.” as much as I was thinking, “This is not going to work. I am going to mess it up. It is too late for me to start over.” I repeated and reinforced the good as much as the bad.

And since both thoughts could not occupy the same space in my mind, the power of habit sided with the one that it was used to nurturing: the negative thought. It was the familiar voice it knew, and it takes a lot less effort to believe the familiar than to get on board with the new and unfamiliar.”

In order to choose what thoughts we will have (because we can’t have both), we must practice having the ones we truly want, while mentally eliminating the ones that do not serve you – the ones that always seem to freshly “answer back” to all the awesome positive affirmative thoughts you work so hard to hold onto. Spray those mothers with some extra strength weed killer and eventually, you’ll keep them out, for good.
Read the entire post here
 
2CHECK IN WITH YOUR PRIORITIES
Feel out of alignment with what you wanted to do this past year and where you are now? We all can get off track. I like to visit my priorities list that I try to redo every six months or so using the Passion Test method.
I find that they often change (which apparently is quite normal), depending on what’s happening in my life. The list of priorities forces you to get super clear on what you want, as you go through the process of checking priorities against themselves, forcing them into a rank that you can then always use to refer back to.
When I start to get that icky feeling that things aren’t going the way I envisioned, I whip out the list and try to track it against what I’m doing. That usually nudges me back in the right direction.
 
3 REFINE YOUR PLAN (AFTER DOING NUMBER 2)
If you had a life or business plan that you followed this past year- good for you! If not- it’s all good! No time like the present to either pull that thing out and assess what’s working and what’s not, or create one that will take you exactly where you want to go!
Leonie Dawson has a fabulous, fun, quirky, beautiful journalesque one that I’m going to be using this year. Check It out here
 
4 FIGURE OUT WHAT IS WORKING
Instead of focusing on the negative, which we all tend to do (going bonkers on the one B in a report card full of As comes to mind), try to be kind to yourself for once and say hooray! I did it!
Figured out how to motivate yourself to write 1500 words a day getting you closer to finishing that book? hooray! Landed that client you’ve been working on for months? hooray! Got your new web site up and running? hooray! Don’t forget to tell yourself you love you – you are amazing and it’s all going to be ok. ☺
 
5
DO SOME WEEDING : REMOVE ANYTHING NOT SERVING YOU
Clearing out what isn’t serving you will clear your energy to do the things that do. Focusing only on things that nourish your inner happy dance (and an outer one if you want!) will keep your energy up and get you through completing some of the “have tos” we all endure as a matter of general upkeep (tax prep anyone?).
It makes those moments more bearable because we know that 95% of everything else we’ll be doing brings us the happy happy joy joy. (anyone remember Ren & Stimpy? anyone?). In case you forgot:

 

 
6 GET QUIET: LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE
I have a friend that shall remain nameless, but she won’t mind me sharing that she called me one day beyond bewildered at how she was feeling. She hadn’t stopped crying in days. Inspired by seeing an old pianist friend’s brilliant, beautiful performance, she was overcome with emotion.
She had no clue where it was coming from and why it was happening. Consciously, she felt content and hadn’t really felt like anything was wrong, per se.
That’s when it happens. Some little something just sets you off and all of a sudden your subconscious reaches out and slaps you in your beautiful face, making you listen, making you understand that you need something that you are simply not getting.
She cried and cried and let it flow and tried to dissect what it was she always wanted to do since she was a young girl, and is now doing everything she can to explore that and incorporate it into her life.
Your slap in the face doesn’t have to be so dramatic. Sometimes you just have to get quiet and listen… or be moved by something unexpected. Pay attention. ☺
 
7 DEFINE YOUR CORE VALUES
Now that the holidays have passed, we all jump head first back into the rushing river of life. It’s never too late to take a few minutes and evaluate your core values. As Barrie Davenport writes in her recent post about evaluating your core values:
“When your life is designed around your most important values, then you’ve created a life in alignment with your authentic self. And this can only bring you contentment and joy. If one of your highest values is quality family time, but your job forces you to travel all the time, then you will be unhappy — no matter how much money you make. If one of your highest values is creativity, but you spend too much of your free time surfing the net or watching TV, then you will feel empty and restless because you aren’t fulfilling this value.”
True Story.
Read the entire post here.
 
8ASK FOR HELP (Uhuh)
I, admittedly, am THE WORST at this. For some ridiculous reason I think I can handle everything. I’ll bet you say this all the time too. But seriously, you can’t. I can’t, we all can’t handle it all. Admitting you need help is the first step, right?
For the longest time I resisted having people help me - even with just simply watching my daughter for a day here and there to get some work done. What did I think I was proving? Why did I feel like I could somehow make it work?
When you finally realize that everybody needs help and that doesn't make you weak, or a failure, you open up a huge well of relief and creativity, and lose a ton of stress. Even something that may seem small but gives you a huge boost, is worth it. Totally worth it.
 
9SWEEP AWAY THE SWEEPING GOALS (if you don’t include the baby steps to get there)
Back to my earlier anti-resolution sentiment – it is much easier for you to accomplish your goals by setting little wins for yourself on the way there. Make the accomplishments super bite-sized (make a call, write an email, etc) that will get you to your Big Fat Hairy Goal.
If you simply state the Big Fat Hairy Goal without the little steps to get there, you’ll just get overwhelmed and never make it out the door. It’s absolutely great (and necessary) to think big, but without the baby steps, you’ll always be staring out at a beautiful dream in the distance with no path in sight to get there.

 

10 JUST BREATHE (Cleared Air)
Yaaaa, this one I have to remember to do pretty much all the time. Serenity Now has been a mantra of mine for some time now, and although simple, it really does help center me when I feel like all I’m doing is screaming at my kids and losing my mind. Not cool, man. Not cool.
Cleaning the proverbial air with anyone or anything that is causing you tension can remove a huge weight off your shoulders and let you move on to your fabulously awesomely passionate things. It's amazing how much energy we waste holding on to grudges, misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
Find that thing - that person, that fear, that tension, that conversation, and deal with it - throw holy water at it, light it on fire (not a person, but you know what I mean) and then sweep that crap away - let it go like a balloon in the sky. Watch it fly away and then forget it. Then breathe. Then grab some vino. Let go and Vino. That should be a book. I digress...
So, as I say, If breathing and air cleaning happens to get accompanied by a nice glass of vino and a night out with your girls (or a phone convo with your sis), that doesn’t hurt either. So, let’s amend this one to Just Breathe and refer back to “Ask for Help” – because a lifeline like social support is sometimes all the help you need to get back to center.

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